SUNDAY AFTERNOON US OPEN THREAD

12:00: And were off. How much golf will be played today is still a mystery.

12:09
: David Duval tees off to start his third round. Johnny Miller continues to comment on his physique, which is strange because he looks fat. It looks like David Duval AND Mark O’Meara are making a comeback.

12:14: Is Azuma Yano teeing off in a t-shirt? Oh well, “He might not read english.” Thanks Johnny.

12:18: I think the Euro Tour guys might have an advantage here for the rest of the weekend because the greens are so slow. I say this as Peter Hanson pulls a putt at least a foot left.

12:21: Tiger can’t buy a putt right now. I think he is fooled by the greens being so ridiculously slow right now. Also, there is no way he thought -8 would be a potential winning score this week.

12:33
: These greens are so slow and soft, the players have to be firing right at pins. There is basically no spot around the greens you can’t recover from on this soggy course and the pros are going to make a lot more birdies than bogeys by firing right at pins from the fairway.

12:48: Tiger is done. I also wonder if he spent so much time working on his driving leading up to the Open, that he forgot how important actually scoring was. His approaches, chipping and putting, which even in a US Open are more important have all been relatively poor.

12:58: Case and point, with Barnes short-sided in a greenside bunker. Under normal US Open conditions he would be dead there. Today, with a soft course, you always have a shot. The reward of a birdie far outweighs the risk of a bogey right now.

1:18: Ricky Barnes goes to 11-under par. I have no idea where this came from.

1:39: Tiger is not done yet. Yes he is.

1:45: Hunter Mahan is doing much worse at putting when he isn’t on tape delay.

1:51: In the last 10 minutes Johnny has used “Hooker,” “Skanky” and “Banger” as adjectives. Well played sir.

1:55: I remember saying this could be a smaller hitting ball-striker’s course. I guess Weir and Glover kind of fit that bill, but its tough to predict that Ricky Barnes would turn into Ben Hogan for the first 40 holes.

2:20: Lucas Glover is falling apart since hitting the fairway on the long 7th. Barnes has yet to fall apart, but its hard to imagine he keeps up this pace.

2:23: Prior to the tournament I had Ricky Barnes as a little less than average PGA Tour player, with about a 3000-1 chance of winning.

2:33
: Ricky Barnes is way ahead right now, but remember he is just not that good of a golfer. There is NOTHING that indicates he can keep of this level of play for the next 27 holes. If your looking for good darkhorse winning candidates right now, I say Mahan and Fisher are the best looks. Westwood, Ames and McDowell are probably underrated too but they will need a lot more help.

2:39: I was about to ask: Over/Under for Ricky Barnes first double bogey: 3 holes, but it looks like he is well on his way on number 10. I can’t explain how weird this is for Barnes to be competing here. Barnes really statistically doesn’t do anything that well, yet his ball striking has been phenomenal this week.

2:44: Easiest pick to see through today: Mike Weir. How is all of his major championship experience working out now.

2:50: Tiger Woods is still not likely to win this tournament. However, he is looking a lot better right now. After Barnes makes his double on 10 and Tiger taps in for birdie he will only be 10 back. More importantly Mahan is next best at -4. Barnes is not that good and should really fall apart at any point that leaves Tiger 5 back of the rest of the field. 2% chance Tiger wins, 25% chance he gets second right now, but those are guesses.

2:57: Mahan just made double, as if on cue. TV just can’t just do justice to how brutal that approach is. The players scores can. 15 has played to a 4.45 average this week.

2:59
: Barnes has a case of the lefts right now. Imagine how interesting this would be without a certain 6-5-3-5 finish from someone on Friday.

3:10: Back-to-back birdies for Glover gets him to within 3 strokes of the lead, and makes him in my opinion the favorite to win the tournament at this point.

3:14: Tiger makes par on 5. At this point, he stands at 1-over. 8 is really the only true birdie hole left for him. Johnny makes a good point, Tiger struggles on slower greens.

3:21
: Tiger Woods iron game is really killing him right now. While other guys are stuffing it close, Tiger is playing for the middle of the greens like its, you know, a US Open.

3:30: Ricky shows his first tenative putting stroke of the day and it was frankly horrific. Like I said at this moment in time, Glover is the favorite.

3:47: Just working on some in-running odds for the tournament right now. Barnes 57%, Glover 33% Mahan 5% to win, although I estimated a bit on those so its tough to say how accurate they are.

3:56: The last 5 or 6 holes Tiger is really starting to swing well. He still can’t get anything to fall on the greens, though. There is definitely a 62 or 63 out there if someone lights the world on fire, but I think Tiger is too far back at this point.

4:18
: Barnes bogeys 15, which it seems like everyone has done, then drives it in the rough on on 16. Still he is at EVEN par for the day, despite giving a few away on the back nine.

4:23: Glover sticks one on 8. That’s really been the difference between Tiger and some of the other leaders. Tiger really hasn’t had the number of tap-ins that the leaders have. That and the crappy draw of weather. Fisher finishes at 3-under. Realistically guessing, I say Glover-Barnes-Mickelson-Fisher-Mahan in terms of chances to win right now.

4:33: It will be interesting to see how Barnes reacts to the lead in the final round. I may have mentioned he is not very good, but he does have a big time win in the US Amateur several years ago over Hunter Mahan. Don’t know if that means anything.

4:39: “Ricky and his brother doing a little Barnes-storming.” Who does Dan Hicks think he is, Jim Nantz?

4:41: The third round is almost over, and I will have my odds up quickly after, but right now the gameplan if you are trying to come from behind has to be “GO FOR THE FLAGS.” The course is still soft and missing shortside is just not the usual penalty because of the greens condition. There is definitely a 63 out there.

4:56: Jesus, Ricky, take enough practice swings? I think he figures if he swings enough out of the deep rough, it won’t be quite as deep in the fourth round when he comes back.

5:00: One shot lead for Barnes going to the final round with some big names lurking at 2 or 3 under.

5:14: My final round odds:
usopenfinal
Going to wait around to see what the Greek has, but I’ll probably take shots on Barnes and Glover if the current prices stick.

5:17:
Glover +245(1)
Barnes +300(1)

For matchups, I’ll probably play a few, looking to fade Phil, obviously.

5:27: Ricky Barnes is ranked 245th in my tour adjusted rankings. Basically what that means is he is about .23 strokes WORSE than the average PGA Tour pro. He is about .75 strokes per round WORSE than the remaining field over the past year.

5:32: I have Glover -150/150 over Barnes for the final round. That makes me feel good about my nationwide numbers.

6:26: Tiger -150 v. Phil(1)

6:30: Got to love Sergio hitting over the people. It is going to be nuts the second time around right now. The Gallery is going to be into it.
4th Rounders:
Besides Tiger, Barnes and Glover.
Peter Hanson -110 over Todd Hamilton(1)
Sean O’Hair -110 over Retief(1)

6:44: Tiger bogeys the first. 62 is looking pretty out of the question at this point, although no one on NBC would ever say that.

6:47: ONE TIME! Definitely the new “GET IN THE HOLE.”

6:53: Tiger makes Birdie. Croud goes nuts. 62 still highly unlikely.

6:55: Looking over Sobel’s course notes. 6 and 18 could play as driveable par-4’s and 13 is being shortened by 50 yards, so there could be three opportunities for eagle out there for the bold.

7:00: It looks like the USGA has fully bastardized this course for the final round.

7:06: BOOOO! The fans behind the 3rd green totally butcher the ball Sim flipped to them. Just terrible.

7:11: Tiger needs an eagle on number 4. He starts it off by barely finding the fairway. Molinari almost makes hole in one on the joke of a 14th hole.

7:21: For those of you holding out hope(NBC) Tiger is done. Mickleson and Mahan about to tee off.

7:29: Duvaltits is about to tee off.

7:38: Johnny Miller is openly rooting for Duvaltits at this point.

7:55: Ricky Barnes needs a good nights sleep.

8:00: Play is called for the night. I really don’t know why you wouldn’t finish the hole under these circumstances.

8:06: When Tiger made the turn this morning, he was 14 shots off the lead. He is now 7 back. Again, Lucas Glover is pretty good so he will be extremely hard to catch. Not to mention, Phil, O’Hair, Mahan and Fisher are all significantly better than the average touring pro. It’s going to require a lot of help, but Tiger has a chance.

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